Right-hander Matt Barnes threw seven shutout innings on Thursday. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox.)

Red Sox minor league roundup: Matt Barnes rolling; Garin Cecchini continues annual tradition; Justin Haley dominates; Jonathan Aro on target

September 05, 2014 - 10:37 am

A brief look at the action in three playoff games among Red Sox affiliates on Thursday: TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 8-2 WIN VS. SYRACUSE (NATIONALS); LEAD BEST-OF-FIVE SERIES, 2-0 (BOX) -- Matt Barnes continued his recent run of Triple-A dominance, logging seven shutout innings in which he gave up three hits (a double and two singles), walked none and punched out six. It marked the sixth time in eight outings that Barnes had pitched into the seventh inning, something he'd done just four times in his first 65 pro games. He threw 65 of 101 pitches (64 percent) for strikes. In nine starts since the All-Star break including the regular season and Thursday's outing, Barnes now has a 2.10 ERA with 7.8 strikeouts and just 2.3 walks per nine. -- Garin Cecchini went 4-for-4 with a triple. It was his first four-hit game of the year; he's had one game of at least four hits in each of his four pro seasons. In 27 games since Aug. 1, Cecchini is now hitting .352/.424/.524. -- Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles and a strikeout. It was his fifth multi-hit game in 16 contests since being sent to Triple-A. -- Travis Shaw had his second straight strong game, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. The 24-year-old is now 3-for-6 and has reached base in six of nine plate appearances through his first two games of the playoff series. -- Shortstop Deven Marrero had his second multi-hit game in his last 20 contests dating to Aug. 10, going 2-for-4 with a double. DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-0 WIN AT BINGHAMTON (METS); TIED IN BEST-OF-FIVE SERIES, 1-1 (BOX) -- Right-hander Justin Haley fired six shutout innings in which he allowed five hits (all singles), walked one and punched out eight. In seven starts since his promotion from Salem, Haley has pitched at least six innings every time he's taken the mound, producing a quality start in all of them and in fact permitting one or no runs in six of those seven starts. The 23-year-old has a 1.03 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 17 walks in 43 2/3 innings with Portland. He's seen his strikeout numbers spike in his recent outings, with 30 strikeouts in his last four starts spanning 25 1/3 innings. -- Second baseman Sean Coyle went deep for the second time in as many games, going 1-for-4 with a two-run homer. The 22-year-old now has five homers in his last 11 games and 18 for the year. -- Outfielder Keury De La Cruz went 2-for-3 with a homer and a walk, extending what has arguably been the most impressive overall hitting stretch of his career in which he's combined his raw power with a sort of patience that he's rarely been able to demonstrate. Since July 27, De La Cruz is hitting .322 with a .381 OBP, .545 slugging mark, six homers, 12 walks and 28 strikeouts in 33 games (134 plate appearances). The walks are little short of startling given that De La Cruz had walked just three times in his first 39 games of the season. Yet Red Sox officials have long maintained that when De La Cruz is able to control his effort level rather than jumping out of his shoes at virtually any fastball, he has the ability to barrel the ball with the regularity to suggest a potential impact player. Over the last five-plus weeks, he's been showing that trait repeatedly. -- First baseman Stefan Welch had a pair of homers, the third multi-homer game of his eight-season minor league career. HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 4-1 LOSS AT MYRTLE BEACH (RANGERS); TIED IN BEST-OF-THREE SERIES, 1-1 (BOX) -- Right-hander Jonathan Aro had 3 2/3 dominant innings of relief work, allowing two hits, walking a batter and punching out seven. The 23-year-old now has 13 strikeouts in his last 8 2/3 innings, and now has a career-best 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings this year. -- Outfielder Manuel Margot went 0-for-3 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. It was just the second time in his 18 games that he had multiple strikeouts. The 19-year-old has three walks and seven strikeouts in 63 plate appearances since his promotion to High-A, with his bat-to-ball skills translating against more advanced competition.